Helping the Children of Veterans Suffering from PTSD

Art Therapy pic

Art Therapy
Image: arttherapy.org

Leveraging a PhD in psychology from the Trinity College of Graduate Studies, and a master’s degree in social work from California State University, Long Beach, Dr. Miriam Galindo founded her private practice in Irvine, California, in 2004. In her role as a licensed social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo focuses on therapies designed specifically to help young children in traumatic situations who are at risk, such as play and art therapy.

Research has shown that the children of Veterans with PTSD have an increased risk for behavioral, and interpersonal, and academic problems. Understanding the effects of PTSD on children can be a critical part of treatment and can positively impact how families cope with difficult situations. Common PTSD symptoms include re-experiencing traumatic events, avoiding people and places to the point of isolation, and high anxiety levels, which manifest as difficulty sleeping, being easily startled, and extreme irritability.

Children who witness these events and symptoms tend to respond to a parent’s PTSD symptoms in specific ways. They can over-identify and begin to mimic the feelings and behaviors of the parent, they can act as the rescuer by filling in for the parent and taking on the adult role, or they can become emotionally uninvolved, leading to issues at school, anxiety, and depression.

Coping with Divorce for Children

Coping with Divorce pic

Coping with Divorce
Image: divorcesupport.about.com

A licensed clinical psychologist and social worker, Dr. Miriam Galindo has been part of an approved panel of experts for Orange County Superior Court since 2005. Dr. Miriam Galindo has been able to work with children and their families through many different aspects of a divorce, and she has a strong understanding of the psychological effects of divorce on a child.

Most of the effects of divorce on a child have less to do with the custodial situation, or even the change in environment, as the uncertainty involved in the divorce process. The presentation of new issues such as parental conflict and the lack of a unified front between parents can be difficult for children. Initial adjustment for children typically takes about two years.

Younger children tend to blame themselves and often imagine their parents getting back together. Older children, meanwhile, see the breakdown of trust and unity in their family relationships and become more independent. In many cases, it also has a negative effect on their first serious romantic relationships, which they expect to fail.

Negative effects of divorce can be mitigated with loving communication from both parents as well as reliable, consistent communication. Children whose divorced parents can maintain amiable relations in front of the child and make time for the child’s needs are more likely to adjust well.

NACCFI’s Forensic Interviewing of Children Course

National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers  pic

National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers
Image: naccfi.com

Dr. Miriam Galindo holds a master of social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctor of psychology from Trinity College of Graduate Studies. Throughout her career as licensed clinical social worker and psychologist, Dr. Miriam Galindo has completed a number of continuing education and advanced training programs, including Forensic Interviewing of Children through the National Association of Certified Child Forensic Interviewers (NACCFI).

A self-paced e-learning course, Forensic Interviewing of Children is designed to help professionals learn the proper procedures and interview techniques involved in effectively questioning children, whether they are victims or witnesses of a crime.

Analyzed and reviewed by more than 1,500 practicing child forensic interviewers, the Forensic Interviewing of Children course features 40 hours of online training designed as part of the curriculum needed to qualify for child forensic interviewer certification. Other portions of the curriculum include 16 hours of peer review practicum and 32 hours of competency training.

Children Communicate Complex Feelings through Play Therapy

Play Therapy pic

Play Therapy
Image: playtherapy.org

Licensed psychologist and social worker Dr. Miriam Galindo has years of experience working with at-risk children and families. Today, Dr. Miriam Galindo treats juvenile patients in her work as a play therapist.

Play therapy is a growing form of mental health treatment for children of all ages, though the technique is said to be most effective for patients between the ages of 3 and 12. In play therapy, children are presented with a variety of toys designed to encourage creative fantasy play as well as toys that make it possible to demonstrate scenarios from real life.

Play therapists work to create a supportive bond with the children in a safe environment, allowing the children to feel comfortable enough to use the toys as a means of communicating their feelings symbolically through play. This mode of communication may allow the children to express feelings, fears, and ideas that they do not yet have the verbal language to explain.

Play therapy is often used to help children who live through traumatic experiences, including domestic violence, grief, disfigurement, and sexual abuse. Parents often seek the help of a play therapist when their child begins to display unusual traits or behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, social difficulties, and poor school performance.

Preparing Children for Court Evaluations

Dr. Miriam Galindo pic

Dr. Miriam Galindo
Image: galindopsychology.com

Miriam Galindo, PsyD, works with clients out of her private practice in Irvine, California. She provides psychological counseling for children and families undergoing child custody evaluations. Dr. Miriam Galindo’s goal is to provide healthy solutions for family reunification and co-parenting.

The way in which parents tell their children about an upcoming interview with a mediator can impact the validity of children’s statements. Children are likely to assume that they are being asked to choose which parent they love more. This situation may result in anxiety because of the forced conflict of loyalty.

Before setting an appointment with children, the mediator must emphasize the importance of the wording used when expressing the request for the interview. It is also important for parents to know that mediators are trained to spot instances in which children have been influenced to say something in favor of either parent.

It is best to explain to children what the purpose of the mediator is, why the mediator is there, and what he or she can do to help the family, not just one parent. When children are presented with an unbiased explanation, they feel calmer and more confident about talking to a professional about their feelings and views about the separation or divorce.

An Overview of Art Therapy for Children

Art Therapy for Children pic

Art Therapy for Children
Image: news.vanderbilt.edu

Dr. Miriam Galindo works as a child and family psychologist specializing in high-conflict divorce scenarios. Located in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo is especially adept at overseeing play and art therapy sessions with children.

Art therapy, a nuanced blend of psychotherapy and traditional art lessons, has grown rapidly in recent years. This form of psychotherapy has been successfully used with children, as well as adults, dealing with issues as diverse as neglect and the death of a family member.

Non-verbal expression is highly valued in all fields of psychology, though it is more common for younger individuals to struggle when it comes to articulating their thoughts and feelings through words. Mental health professionals have cited art therapy’s ability to help children express their emotions and fears without the use of words as an example of its effectiveness. In some cases, a child’s actions and drawings during a session may reveal issues, or solutions, that previously only existed at the subconscious level.

Possible Signs of Depression in Children

Depression in Children pic

Depression in Children
Image: depression.about.com

Over the course of her career as a psychologist Miriam Galindo, Psy.D., has gained extensive experience treating abused and neglected children. Prior to establishing her own practice in Irvine, California, Dr. Miriam Galindo spent time working in an outpatient counseling agency where she assessed and treated children who had experienced sexual abuse.

To some, depression may not seem like a condition that affects young children. However, there is a clear distinction to be made between the ordinary growing pains and mood swings that define childhood, and clinical depression, a serious illness faced by young individuals as well as adults.

Although it can vary in many ways from child to child, childhood depression can generally be characterized as either masked or typical depression. A child masking his or her depression will often lash out at others and frequently demonstrate anger and irritability rather than episodes of anxiety or melancholy. Typical depression in children, on the other hand, is similar to adult depression and can be characterized by sadness and other low moods.

There are a number of signs that can help parents and other caregivers identify depression and separate the illness from normal psychological developments. Sudden changes in sleep patterns, for example, can be a warning sign. As children grow they require more sleep, but excessive sleeping (or, by contrast, symptoms akin to insomnia) are less common. Fatigue and low energy are further signs of childhood depression, particularly in regard to events and activities the child previously enjoyed. Finally, repeated social withdrawal can be attributed to depression, especially if the child refrains from participating with other children due to fear of rejection.